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October 7, 2001
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Pak airspace used for strikes, cabinet meets

Pakistan airspace was used on Sunday night to launch the US-led military strikes on Afghanistan.

US and British military aircraft were permitted to fly through Pakistan airspace on pre-determined routes, but no Pakistani air bases were used to launch the attacks.

Immediately after the attacks began, the Pakistan cabinet went into an emergency meeting to discuss the situation.

A foreign office statement said that Pakistan regretted that the Taleban leadership failed to realise the gravity of the situation and take the right direction in the interest of the Afghan people.

"It remains our hope that the military action remains clearly targeted to achieve the aims identified by the relevant United Nations resolutions and that every care is taken to minimise harm to the Afghan people," it said.

"We also hope that the operations ends soon and a concerted international effort is undertaken to promote national reconciliation and help Afghanistan with economic reconstruction," it said.

A spokesman for President Musharraf said that the government expected a backlash from Islamic extremists in Pakistan, and that army and police units in various volatile parts of the country had been placed on a state of high alert.

Meanwhile, reports out of Islamabad indicate that some Muslim leaders in Pakistan have condemned the US attacks on Afghanistan, saying they targeted innocent Afghan civilians and warning that the US would find itself in difficulties with the Muslim world as a result of the attacks.

Agencies

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